Now, another Palmetto State GOP lawmaker is likely to find himself on the receiving end of a credible challenge next fall …
Ralph Norman – who represents South Carolina’s fifth congressional district – is one of twenty GOP lawmakers currently refusing to support the speakership of California moderate Kevin McCarthy. These hardline holdouts have denied McCarthy the gavel of the ostensibly GOP-controlled U.S. House of Representatives for the past two days – stalling the ability of “Republicans” to begin advancing their agenda in our nation’s capital.
Newly elected House members cannot even be sworn in until a speaker is elected.
McCarthy’s chaotic bid for the speakership marks the first time since 1923 that the chamber has failed to elect a leader on the first ballot. Even an attempt by former U.S. president Donald Trump to tip the scales in McCarthy’s favor failed miserably.
To be clear: I have no dog in this fight. As far as I am concerned, Republicans (and Democrats) can go fly a kite. Or “make like a tree,” to quote 1950s tough guy Biff Howard Tannen. Both parties are disasters when it comes to the issues that matter to the sustainability of the Republic.
So the question of which bought-and-paid-for figurehead sits atop either one of them seems pointless … although some believe blocking McCarthy’s ascension is essential to (finally) providing citizens with a “choice not an echo” in Washington.
Ultimately, though, I don’t care. The battle feels like a pair of horse flies fighting for space on the rear bumper of Thelma and Louise’s blue Thunderbird as it careens into the Grand Canyon.
$32 trillion in debt? “Let’s keep going …”
But while Norman’s vote against McCarthy’s speakership doesn’t matter to me, it could matter to his future electoral viability.
According to sources familiar with the situation, several credible challengers – including sitting state lawmakers – are mulling 2024 GOP primary challenges to Norman.
“They are legit,” a source familiar with the prospects told me.
(Click to view)
One source reportedly helping organize the effort is former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who previously held Norman’s seat from 2011-2017 prior to being tapped as Trump’s first budget director.
Norman was already facing criticism over a text message he sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows calling on Trump to impose “Marshall Law” in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Meadows – who recently claimed residency in South Carolina – is the focus of several investigations related to the January 6 rioting.
“(W)e are at a point of no return in saving our Republic!!” Norman wrote in his text message to Meadows. “Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!”
That message – sent on January 17, 2021 – stood in stark contrast to public statements made by Norman around the same time calling for “a peaceful transition” of power to the administration of Joe Biden.
This news outlet reached out to Norman for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has an incredible hat collection including that Tampa Bay Rays sunburst batting practice lid.
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